Flu season: Is your workplace ready?

Oct 7, 2015
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Maintaining a healthy workplace can seem like an impossible feat for employers during flu season.

One way employers try to alleviate a flu outbreak is with annual vaccinations. According to Society for Human Resource Management’s 2015 Employee Benefits Survey, 61 percent of employers offer on-site seasonal flu vaccinations, a statistic that has held steady over the past five years.

Two SHRM experts weigh in on the topic:

Edward Yost, HR business partner and employee relations expert, SHRM
Employees should remain vigilant about washing their hands regularly throughout the day and cleaning these surfaces consistently. Also consider working from home or staying home to recover when you are indeed sick. When employees try to power through when they are sick they may actually prolong their recovery time while also exposing colleagues to the sickness. Employers should provide employees with disposable cleansing and disinfectant wipes for office surfaces, make tissues readily available in common spaces and meeting rooms, as well as post signs about the importance of good hygiene and cleaning practices during cold and flu season.

Bruce Elliott, manager of compensation and benefits, SHRM
It makes good financial sense for employers to provide flu shots to employees. Given the relative small cost of a flu vaccination compared to the cost of sick days, this benefit pays for itself. Offering this benefit will result in fewer employees getting sick, fewer employee sick days, and decreased access use of medical plans.

Other SHRM Resources:
Stopping the Spread of Germs at Work: www.shrm.org/templatestools/samples/policies/pages/cms_016205.aspx
Social Distancing Guidelines:
www.shrm.org/templatestools/samples/policies/pages/cms_016204.aspx

To request an interview with a SHRM expert or to request more information, please contact Vanessa Gray at 703-535-6072 or vanessa.gray@shrm.org.

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